NBER Working Papers by Marti Mestieri

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Working Papers

May 2013Technology Diffusion: Measurement, Causes and Consequences
with Diego A. Comin: w19052
This chapter discusses different approaches pursued to explore three broad questions related to technology diffusion: what general patterns characterize the diffusion of technologies, and how have they changed over time; what are the key drivers of technology, and what are the macroeconomic consequences of technology. We prioritize in our discussion unified approaches to these three questions that are based on direct measures of technology.
If Technology Has Arrived Everywhere, Why has Income Diverged?
with Diego A. Comin: w19010
We study the lags with which new technologies are adopted across countries, and their long-run penetration rates once they are adopted. Using data from the last two centuries, we document two new facts: there has been convergence in adoption lags between rich and poor countries, while there has been divergence in penetration rates. Using a model of adoption and growth, we show that these changes in the pattern of technology diffusion account for 80% of the Great Income Divergence between rich and poor countries since 1820.
September 2010An Intensive Exploration of Technology Diffusion
with Diego A. Comin: w16379
We present a tractable model for the analysis of the relationship between economic growth and the intensive and extensive margins of technology adoption. At the aggregate level, our model is isomorphic to a neoclassical growth model. The microeconomic underpinnings of growth come from technology adoption of firms, both at the extensive and the intensive margin. We use a data set of 15 technologies and 166 countries to estimate the intensive and extensive margin of adoption using the structural equations derived from our model. We find that the variability across countries in the intensive margin is higher than in the extensive margin. The cross country variation in intensive margin of adoption accounts for around 40% of the variation in income per capita.

Published: Technology Diffusion: Measurement, Causes and Consequences (with Diego Comin), Handbook of Economic Growth, vol. 2 .

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